Over the past few years, at-home DNA testing kits have exploded in popularity. By February 2019, over 26 million consumers had added their DNA to four leading commercial ancestry and health databases, according to an MIT Technology Review report. As advances in speedy, sophisticated DNA analysis make genetic testing easier than ever, it’s paving the way for lifestyle experiences that elevate the hyper-personalized offerings already saturating the luxury space.
Mar 09, 2020
High-end services are turning to genetic analysis to take hyper-personalization to new heights.
New restaurants and services are turning to biodata to redefine the fine dining experience. Sushi Singularity will use genetic analysis to create bespoke meals for each individual. Set to open in Tokyo later this year, the restaurant will collect bio samples from diners a week before their reservation to create unique, 3D-printed sushi tailored to diners’ nutritional needs. Another sushi dining experience assesses a person’s DNA information to curate a menu suited to their specific nutritional needs. London’s Yo! Sushi partnered with at-home genetic testing company DNAFit in February 2019 for the Yo! Dinner, Yo! Way scheme and offered free personalized meals to a select number of customers who mailed in a saliva sample.
DNANudge hopes to make genetically informed eating more accessible with their wearable device. Released at CES 2020, the wristband and accompanying app let users shop for their DNA. The DNABand analyzes the user’s cheek swab and then helps users identify the food products best suited to their genetic makeup.
Daniel del Olmo, founding partner of The Passionality Group, has called this the next era of dining. “We believe hyper-personalization will become commonplace in the future,” he said at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas in November 2019.
Luxury matchmaking services are also turning to genetic science. Tokyo-based Gene Partner Japan uses DNA samples to analyze a person’s human leucocyte antigen (HLA) genes. The theory is that the bigger the difference between two people’s HLA makeup, the more likely they’ll find each other attractive. Competing Tokyo firm Gene Future offers a similar service to future couples at a more affordable price. And in Singapore, GeneMate, which launched in June 2019, offers customers the chance to find their life partner using biodata and the firm’s own unique algorithm. Companies in both Japan and Singapore have received government support for DNA matchmaking services as they battle dropping birthrates.
In travel, DNA services are driving a rise in heritage tourism. Airbnb is one company leveraging biotechnology to craft transformative travel experiences. Airbnb partnered with 23andMe in spring 2019 in a bid to help customers tailor their activities around their ancestral heritage. “Someone with Mexican roots could find an experience in Mexico City to learn ancient techniques of natural dye as part of their heritage vacation,” Airbnb suggests.
Despite continued debate over whether genetic testing can reliably predict factors like compatibility or even heritage, consumer DNA services aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. As consumers seek personalized insight beyond basic wellness reports and assessments, expect to see a rise in biodata luxury services.